Through the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards, an event in its 35th year going into the 2021 event, college football coaches are recognized for their contributions both on and off the field. Each year, one top performing coach is selected to take home the “Bear” bust trophy and claim the final title of the season: the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award.

Behind the scenes, the award is much bigger than a college football game and a season’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke while raising valuable funds to support research of the American Heart Association. Through the work and efforts of our volunteers and sponsors, the campaign has raised millions towards the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association.


Open Your Heart
Every year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant awards recognizes a stand-out survivor or survivor’s family to be honored as our “Open Your Heart” story at the event. We ask guests to “Open Your Heart” to give in honor of the inspiring individuals which in turn will aid the American Heart Association in continuing our fight against heart disease and hypertension. Please see the video below for our 2020 Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards “Open Your Heart” story.

Coach of the year watch list

Tom Allen, Indiana; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin Mario Cristobal, Oregon; Ryan Day, Ohio State; Manny Diaz, Miami; Karl Dorrell, Colorado; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Clay Helton, USC; Tom Herman, Texas; Doc Holliday, Marshall; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Dan Mullen, Florida; Jay Norvell, Nevada; Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma; Nick Saban, Alabama; Kalani Sitake, BYU; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Dabo Swinney, Clemson


The Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards is presented by

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